Casino – The Underbelly of Las Vegas


A casino is a public place where games of chance are played for money. It may add luxuries like stage shows, free drinks and dining options to attract visitors and enhance the experience. The word was derived from the Latin kasino, meaning a small house. Casinos have long been popular destinations for tourists and business travelers, as well as locals.

A thriving casino can boost a city’s tax revenue and create employment opportunities, but the industry has also caused controversy over gambling addiction and social issues. Many states have legalized casinos, while others have banned them or limit them to Native American tribes. Some have created regulatory bodies to oversee casino operations. These organizations set minimum age requirements, establish responsible gambling policies and ensure that casinos are staffed with trained professionals.

Although the sexy, glamorous image of Sin City is a huge draw for casino tourists, it’s the mob ties and opulence that really give Vegas its flavor. Casino, the 1995 Oscar-winning epic by Martin Scorsese, reveals the seedy underbelly of this entertainment mecca with a riveting mix of fact and fiction. The movie is based on the nonfiction book Casino by Nicholas Pileggi. It stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, completing their collaboration with Scorsese that began with Raging Bull.

Casino lays bare the intricate web of corruption that centered in Las Vegas, with tendrils reaching to politicians, union leaders, mobster families and Midwest mafia gangsters headquartered in Kansas City. The film also reveals the shady dealings of casino owners and managers, who manipulate games to make large profits.

As the mob’s control of Las Vegas diminished, real estate investors and hotel chains realized the potential profits of building and operating casinos. These new owners, often with deeper pockets than the mobsters, bought out the mafia and ran their operations independently. The risk of losing their gaming licenses if even the slightest hint of mob involvement was detected by regulators led to a strict separation between mob and legitimate casino businesses.

In addition to its opulent gaming floor, a top-notch casino may boast luxury hotels, cutting-edge technology, spa and health club amenities and delicious restaurants. For this reason, casino marketing strategies should focus on attracting events and group business as much as individual players. By using Cvent’s Competitive Ads, a casino can target event planners who are searching for venues in similar areas and sister markets and receive high exposure during their searches when they have the most intent to follow through on booking a venue. This helps drive new bookings and increases ROI.